Photo Credits-Cageside Seats, WWE
On the December 3rd episode of Smackdown, number one contender Sami Zayn was scheduled to face the Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Unfortunately, Zayn was attacked by Brock Lesnar before the match, allowing Roman to destroy him in eighteen seconds. This was made to remove Sami Zayn from the title scene, setting up Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns at the Day 1 pay-per-view.
Despite not being treated as a serious threat to Roman Reigns and his universal title, I believe that Sami Zayn deserves to be redeemed as a main eventer and be the superstar to defeat Reigns for his title.
Roman Reigns has been having a phenomenal run as the universal champion, over 450 days as of writing this article. He has defeated some of the biggest names the industry has to offer. Whether that’s Edge, John Cena, Brock Lesnar, or Daniel Bryan, Reigns has been truly unstoppable since his return, smashing everyone in his path. However, all great things must come to an end, as someone will eventually beat Roman. With these long title reigns, the end of the reign is arguably the most important part. In a good case, it can build a new star, cementing themselves at the top of the card. However putting the belt on an already established main eventer does little to make the title change feel important. A great example is The Rock ending the 434 day reign of CM Punk, just to set up Rock-Cena twice at WrestleMania 29, just so Cena could win the title at Mania. This was an anticlimactic end to Punk’s reign and felt like a wasted opportunity. I believe that whoever beats Reigns should win their first ever world title, and I believe that Sami Zayn deserves that honor.
Addressing the elephant in the room, Sami Zayn is of course a heel at the moment. But, I feel a face turn would absolutely elevate the character of Sami and create a wave of support around him. This squash at the hands of Roman could absolutely be a launch pad, similar to how Daniel Bryan being squashed by Sheamus at Mania 28. This began an over two year story, resulting in Bryan winning the WWE championship at WrestleMania 30, in one of the greatest WrestleMania moments of all time. I believe that Sami has the true babyface drive and connection with the audience to be worthy of this achievement. Zayn was arguably the most over babyface during his NXT run, especially in his feud with Kevin Owens, where was able to connect the fans and get them to cheer and pity him.
Sami Zayn has more than enough talent to become a worthy world champion, and I believe that by harnessing his old NXT gimmick, he can get over enough to become the best babyface in WWE once again. With these combined factors, I believe that Sami Zayn should defeat Roman Reigns and become the next Universal Champion at some point in 2022.